GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — One in five children will have a significant loss by the age of 18.
On Thursday, a local non-profit helped spread awareness about children who have lost a loved one in honor of National Children’s Grief Awareness Day.
HopeWest wore blue Thursday to call attention to the prevalence of childhood grief. HopeWest is a local, stand-alone, nonprofit organization, serving those who are very ill, or who need grief support. You can find support from HopeWest across the Western Slope, including Delta, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, and Rio Blanco counties.
They bring attention to this national day because children typically handle grief differently than adults.
When kids grieve, they grieve in spurts. They can’t sustain grief the way adults do, so when adults see kids playing, and running around, they think, “oh, they are fine… they are not grieveing…”, but they are.Pat Lewis, HopeWest Grief Counsilor
Pat also says that throughout a child’s developmental stages, they re-grieve the loss, in different ways.
HopeWest says one of the best ways for children to handle grief is to be surrounded by other children, who are going through the same thing.
Additionally, grieving children can find relief in things like art, journaling, and spending time with animals.
HopeWest offers a number of grief support services for children, you can find them all here.